Top designer David Tlale was in East London yesterday to conduct a workshop for aspiring fashion designers and Walter Sisulu University students.
The workshop forms part of the inaugural Buyel’ekhaya Fashion Development Programme which is being run under the auspices of the annual Buyel’ekhaya Pan African Festival at the Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium next month.
The workshop saw more than 60 students and upcoming designers arriving at the Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre to learn from Tlale.
Mazwai Strategic Communications’ Phoebe Phokompe said the programme was an empowerment initiative of the festival and was made possible through the generous support from the fibre processing and manufacturing Seta, the SABC, Tlale and another renowned designer, Thula Sindi.
Phokompe said they would be selecting eight new designers to participate in a 10-day mentorship programme with Sindi at his Johannesburg studios.
The eight would also get an opportunity to work on designs and produce garments to be showcased at the first Buyel’ekhaya Fashion Show.
The show will also feature works by Tlale, Sindi, Tina Ngxokolo and Mozambican designer Taibo Bar, under the theme: “Going back to our roots”.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch, Tlale said he was promoting awareness of the workings of the fashion industry.
“We need to answer a couple of questions: one needs to know why are we here as designers, what impact we can have in our communities and how do we present excellent products? If we can know these answers, then we will be able to know where we are going and understand the power we have on the nation as designers,” he said.
Tlale said it was time for designers to be patriotic about who they were and what they could offer.
“The chosen eight will get a chance to be mentored by Thula Sindi and I think they will have an amazing experience which will prepare them for the inaugural fashion show,” he said.
The fashion show will be held on December 16 at the Orient Theatre.
The Buyel’ekhaya music festival is taking place on December 18 and the line-up includes Msaki, Black Coffee, Babes Wodumo, Dorothy Masuka, Ringo Madlingozi, Siphokazi, Jonas Gwangwa and Mobi Dixon, to mention a few. — firstname.lastname@example.org